8 Red Wines You Can Totally Drink in the Summer

Oh, summer reds are a thing all right.

Ah, summer. It’s the time of crisp white wine and bottles of prosecco popping off all over Instagram—and a seasonal nightmare for red-wine lovers. Opening up a bottle of stuff served room-temperature on a hot, humid day can be utterly un-refreshing, especially if it’s the kind of super-dry red that leaves you thirstier than your already-dehydrated self was before taking a sip. But missing out on the deliciousness of red wine for a whole season is a fairly tragic thought.

Luckily, there are plenty of non-whites or -rosés that are wonderful in the summer—and yes, it’s absolutely fine and not gauche to chill some of them. Just reach for reds described as “bright,” “fruity,” and “light-bodied,” and think twice about anything that says “dry” on the label unless you want to wake up at 3 a.m. feeling like you swallowed sand from the Sahara.

I have decent luck in the summer with reds that come from wine regions that tend to have hot summers themselves; chances are those winemakers aren’t going to love a wine that makes them feel gross, either. On a recent trip to southeastern Spain, I spent a week touring vineyards from Valencia to Alicante, which are major beach destinations that get very, very hot. Not surprisingly, the reds there—made from little-known varieties like the juicy, vibrant monastrell and bobal grapes—are perfect for summer days. Beaujolais, grenache, and pinot noir are some of the other varietals I reach for from May to September. Just pop them in the fridge close to when you’re going to drink them, or you’ll kill the flavors.

Here, eight great red wines that hold their own in the summer heat, perfect for sipping during a barbecue or around a bonfire. Plus, they're all under $35.